The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee conducted a hearing on Wednesday on the current state of research and development in the drone industry. The goal was to discuss with industry advocates how best to safely integrate this new class of flying craft into our national airspace.
For the most part it was your typical fare, with a lot of lengthy soliloquies on what drones are, what they can do, and how to make flying them safer. But to give our elected officials some perspective, Colin Guinn, senior vice president of sales at 3D Robotics, gave his presentation while a Parrot Bebop drone flew beside him. “We had to get permission to fly a drone in the committee room as well,” said Chairman Lamar Smith. “So the rules are still pretty strict.”
But it was presentation of a working Parrot Bebop by 3D Robotics that stole the show.
It hovered through the hearing room in the Rayburn House Office Building. But it also had a mishap: During one takeoff, it was brought about five feet off the floor, only to crash back on the carpet.
“Whoops,” said a company representative, as those watching laughed.
The craft wasn’t broken, and continued on with the demonstration. Colin Guinn with 3D Robotics said the drone used Thursday costs about $500.
The full 2 hour session can be viewed here: